Notable sites include the capitol (1889), housing the state library; the city hall; the Woodruff Arts Center, home of the High Museum of Art and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; the Fernbank Museum of Natural History; the state archives building; the building housing the huge Cyclorama of the Battle of Atlanta ; Oakland Cemetery, containing Civil War dead; "Underground Atlanta," a four-block tract covered for 50 years by a viaduct system and restored as a tourist district; the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site, including King's birthplace and grave as well as Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he preached; Grant Park, with a zoo and Confederate Fort Walker (restored); and the Georgia Aquarium. The Carter Presidential Center (1986) contains a museum and library dedicated to former President Jimmy Carter as well as a forum (part of Emory Univ.) for the discussion of international issues.
Many departments of the federal government have branches in and near Atlanta, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; also there are Fort McPherson, headquarters of the U.S. 3d Army, and a naval air station. The Atlanta penitentiary (est. 1899) is one of the most widely known U.S. federal prisons. The city's numerous parks are famous for their dogwood blooms. Nearby is Stone Mountain Park, with enormous relief carvings of Confederate figures and a 19th-century plantation, reminiscent of the Atlanta depicted in the film Gone with the Wind (1939). Also in the area are Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park (see National Parks and Monuments, table) and Six Flags Over Georgia, a large theme park.
Atlanta is the seat of Emory Univ., Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State Univ., Oglethorpe Univ., the Atlanta School of Art, and Atlanta Univ., with its adjacent and affiliated schools: Clark, Morehouse, Morris Brown, and Spelman colleges. The city is home to the Atlanta Braves (baseball), Falcons (football), and Hawks (basketball).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.